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) pushed the Metals & Mining industry higher today making it today's featured metals & mining winner. The industry as a whole closed the day down 0.2%. By the end of trading, Nucor rose 70 cents (1.8%) to $39.20 on average volume. Throughout the day, three million shares of Nucor exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 3.3 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $38.50-$39.38 after having opened the day at $38.57 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $38.50. Other companies within the Metals & Mining industry that increased today were:

Uranium Resources



), up 50.9%,

James River Coal Company



), up 16.8%,




), up 11.8%, and

China Natural Resources



), up 11.6%.

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Nucor Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products in North America and internationally. It operates through three segments: Steel Mills, Steel Products, and Raw Materials. Nucor has a market cap of $12.2 billion and is part of the

basic materials

sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.3, equal to the average metals & mining industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are down 2.7% year to date as of the close of trading on Monday. Currently there are nine analysts that rate Nucor a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and five rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Nucor as a


. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, unimpressive growth in net income and poor profit margins.

On the negative front,

Midway Gold



), down 11.5%,

Entree Gold



), down 6.7%,

Lake Shore Gold



), down 6.4%, and

Paramount Gold and Silver Corporation



), down 6.2%, were all laggards within the metals & mining industry with




) being today's metals & mining industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the metals & mining industry could consider

SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF



) while those bearish on the metals & mining industry could consider

PowerShares DB Base Metals Sht ETN